Mathieu van der Poel on Winning Milan-San Remo: ‘This was my best level.’

By Monica Buck

The Dutchman claimed his first win in 2023 after attacking as he crested the Poggio and then powering down the descent to the finishing line. Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers), Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) and Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) tried to chase him down but crossed the line 15 seconds behind.

“I cannot imagine a better scenario than this one,” van der Poel said after the race. “I knew I wanted to place an attack at the end of the Poggio. I managed to find a small gap between Pogačar and the wall. This is one of the races I really wanted to win. The way I won it today is beyond expectation, I’m really happy with this one.”

Van der Poel’s win comes 62 years after his grandfather Raymond Poulidor won the Milan-San Remo.

“It’s one that every rider wants to win one day. I was really focused already on this race since I started training again after [cyclo-cross] Worlds. Tirreno[-Adriatico] wasn’t as good as I expected, but I knew that I needed some race days to get to my best level and today, this was my best level, I think.”

Milan-San Remo 2023 results (294KM)

1. Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck), in 6-25-23
2. Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) + 15 seconds
3. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) + 15 seconds
4. Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) + 15 seconds
5. Søren Kragh Andersen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) + 26 seconds
6. Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) + 26 seconds
7. Neilson Powless (EF Education-EasyPost) + 26 seconds
8. Matej Mohorič (Bahrain Victorious) + 26 seconds
9. Anthony Turgis (TotalEnergies) + 26 seconds
10. Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) + 26 seconds